‘The Wedding Ringer,’ Kevin Hart Are No Match For ‘American Sniper’ At The Box Office

Although The Wedding Ringer features box office titan Kevin Hart, apparently the raunchy comedy is no match for an acclaimed Clint Eastwood flick.

Starring Kevin Hart and Big Bang Theory sweetheart Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, director Jeremy Garelick’s R-rated outing couldn’t keep up with the acclaimed drama American Sniper at the box office. While The Wedding Ringer managed to scrape together $7 million on Friday, Eastwood’s endeavor was clearly the favorite with approximately $30.5 million.

For those who don’t follow Hart’s career, The Wedding Ringer tells the story of a guy (Josh Gad) who is eager to the tie the knot with his fiance (Cuoco-Sweeting). Here’s the dilemma: Our hero doesn’t have any friends, which means he doesn’t have a best man. Instead of facing such humiliation on his wedding day, he decides to hire a “ringer” (Hart) to pretend to be his buddy. Hilarity, in theory, should ensue.

Unfortunately, critics weren’t too thrilled with the comedian’s latest cinematic effort. While the audience score at Rotten Tomatoes is a healthy 79 percent, critics aren’t nearly as forgiving. As of this writing, the flick is officially certified rotten at 33 percent.

Before you blame Hart for The Wedding Ringer’s assortment of poor reviews, most critics seem to think the guy is quite good in the comedy. Sadly, it’s the script that’s preventing him and the rest of the cast from achieving greatness.

“Hart is laser-focused and in-the-moment, and is consistently better than everything around him. He and Gad have the makings of a Will Smith and Kevin James in ‘Hitch’ thing going on, but the script doesn’t allow them to explore that dynamic,” Detroit News reviewer Adam Graham explains in his write-up.

Sara Stewart over at the New York Post seems to agree with Graham.

“Hart is such a skilled comic — his lightning-fast riffs are almost always funny, even when they’re in the midst of hateful dreck like this — that I can’t believe he can’t talk his way into better material.”

Although The Wedding Ringer isn’t winning over critics, at least it’s faring better at the box office than director Michael Mann’s crime drama Blackhat. Despite the presence of both Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis, the film just isn’t striking a chord with moviegoers this weekend. The film’s take on Friday was a disappointing $1.4 million, putting it behind fellow newcomer Paddington, which grossed $4.6 million on opening day.

Did you manage to catch Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer this weekend?

[Lead image via Sony / Screen Gems]